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Last Updated: May 11, 2012 3:01pm
Paintball: Hoping for better fortune at Haydock
Charlie Longsdon has his fingers crossed that Paintball has better luck than he enjoyed at Aintree when he goes for the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.
Paintball was badly hampered in the very early stages of a handicap at the Liverpool track, having early shown a good level of form to win the Imperial Cup at Sandown.
"He hasn't had a very tough campaign. He won the Imperial Cup pretty well but at Aintree his race was over before the first hurdle," said the Chipping Norton trainer ahead of the race better known as the Swinton Hurdle.
"He clipped heels then almost got put over the rails. He could have been pulled up after that as his race was over before the first flight.
"He didn't have a hard race, so I'm hoping he goes there a fresh horse.
"The ground should be OK for him. There will be more grass than there was three months ago."
David Pipe is easing the burden from his two runners by claiming off them. The Nicholashayne trainer believes his pair have a stiff task at the ratings so has booked 10lb claiming conditional Francis Hayes for Arab League while 7lb amateur Michael Ennis will be on Dream Esteem in the two-mile contest, registered as the Swinton.
"They've both had very good seasons and because of that they are high in the handicap, so we are claiming off both of them," said Pipe.
"Both are in good form and they won't mind the ground."
Evan Williams is happy conditions have remained suitable for Charm School to take his chance.
"We took him to Scotland (Scottish Champion Hurdle) thinking that would be the last we'd see of him for a while, but it's not stopped raining since then," said the Llancarfan trainer.
"He'll love the ground and the faster the pace, the better he'll be.
"I don't like making the running with him, but that's the way he goes about things these days."He is what he is - he has no secrets from the handicapper - but a lot of the others won't go in that ground and he will."
Tim Vaughan is expecting a good show from Caravel, who landed an emphatic success at Taunton on his first run for the Vale of Glamorgan trainer, having previously been with Howard Johnson.
"Caravel's in great nick at home and won nicely first time out for us," he said.
"He's sensibly handicapped and should be very fit, but it's just the ground we are concerned about - we'd have preferred it faster."
Vaughan also runs the former Edward O'Grady-trained Ruler Of All, who is back in action after undergoing a wind operation.
"Ruler Of All has had a wind op since his last run and will love the ground," he said.
"The trip and the track will suit and I'm hoping he'll put up a decent show."
Harry Derham takes the ride on Tonic Mellysse for his uncle, trainer Paul Nicholls.
"He ran nicely at Cheltenham, but got stuck into the ground," said the 7lb claimer.
"He jumped really well that day and that will have given him plenty of confidence.
"A fast-run race will suit him, but the ground would be a little bit of a concern."
Michael Smith does not want to see the ground get much softer for Makbullet.
"The question mark at this point would be we wouldn't want to see any more rain, but I think everyone is in the same boat really," said the Northumberland trainer.
"If we don't run there, you look about for a race and its very limited, especially for that kind of prize money, so if it does rain and deteriorate any more I think we would end up back on the Flat.
"Both the Donald McCain horses that have finished behind him at Kelso have come out and won - Absinthe twice, including at Chester on Thursday, and Boruler has sluiced up at Market Rasen.
"The configuration would be suitable, he's a handy little thing and he'll whizz round the bends."
Connections of All The Aces feel the Nicky Henderson-trained seven-year-old has plenty going for him.
Mike Spence, son of owner Alan Spence, tweeted: "All The Aces will run in the Swinton on Saturday to try and make it three wins in a row for us. Will love the track and ground."